Yu-Gi-Oh! - Episode 098

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"A Virtual Nightmare"
EnglishA Virtual Nightmare
Japanese name
Japanese未知なる挑戦者 巨大機動要塞浮上!
RōmajiMichinaru Chōsensha Kyodai Kidō Yōsai Fujō!
TranslatedMysterious Challenger - Giant Moving Fortress Surfaces!
Japanese ED"Paradise"
English OP & ED"Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 2 Theme"
Air dates
JapaneseMarch 12, 2002
EnglishNovember 1, 2003
Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes (season 3)
Previous"Showdown in the Shadows, Part 2"
Next"Isolated in Cyber Space, Part 1"

"A Virtual Nightmare", known as "Mysterious Challenger - Giant Moving Fortress Surfaces!" in the Japanese version, is the ninety-eighth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. It is the season 3 premiere, as well as the beginning of the Virtual World arc. It first aired in Japan on March 12, 2002 and in the United Sates on November 1, 2003.

Before the Battle City semi-finals can commence, Seto Kaiba's blimp is suddenly commandeered by a mysterious boy named Noah, who seems to know Kaiba personally and reveals that he has forged an alliance with Kaiba's old foes, The Big Five.


The KaibaCorp blimp is en route to KaibaCorp Island when the autopilot is hacked and it suddenly changes course. A mysterious boy calling himself Noah communicates through a video message, claiming to be in control and appearing to know a lot about Kaiba despite Kaiba never having met him. The blimp docks in a fortress emerging from the ocean and is locked down by magnetic anchors.

Noah forces the gang (Kaiba, Mokuba, Yugi, Joey, Téa, Tristan, Duke and Serenity) into the giant moving fortress. There they encounter some old foes — KaibaCorp's former board of directors, The Big Five, who inform them that after they were defeated in Duel Monsters by Kaiba and Yugi, their bodies had been destroyed and their minds trapped in cyberspace, at the end of the Legendary Heroes quest. Noah had later hacked into KaibaCorp's mainframe and uploaded The Big Five's minds into his own virtual world so they could team up and take revenge on Kaiba.

The Big Five propose a challenge to Yugi, Kaiba and the rest of the group: a Duel Monsters tournament within the virtual world. If any of the gang loses a Duel to one of The Big Five, the winner will gain control of their body and escape to the real world while the loser's mind will be trapped in the virtual world.

For the tournament, The Big Five introduce a new set of rules where each duelist has a Deck Master. The group are briefly sent to a preview of the virtual world so they can watch a virtual Duel between a virtual duplicate of Kaiba and "Total Defense Shogun" using the Deck Master system. The Big Five explain the rule of an automatic loss if a Duelist's Deck Master is destroyed. To put the odds further in their favor, The Big Five declare that they will be Dueling everyone currently present before them; this includes the non-Duelists; Tristan, Téa, and Serenity.

Featured Duel: Simulated Seto Kaiba vs. Total Defense Shogun[edit]

Deck Masters[edit]

Turn 1: Simulated Kaiba
Simulated Kaiba Normal Summons "Lord of Dragons" (1200/1100) in Attack Position. He then activates "The Flute of Summoning Dragon" to Special Summon two "Blue-Eyes White Dragons" from his hand (3000/2500 for both) in Attack Position. Next Simulated Kaiba moves his Deck Master, "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" to the field (3000/2500) in Attack Position. Simulated Kaiba then activates "Polymerization" to fuse his three "Blue-Eyes White Dragons" together and Fusion Summon "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon" (4500/3800) in Attack Position. The latter monster now becomes Simulated Kaiba's new Deck Master. Due to the Deck Master ability of Simulated Kaiba's Deck Master, it can attack in the turn it is summoned.

"Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon" attacks directly, but "Total Defense Shogun" activates its own Deck Master ability, paying 1000 Life Points (Total Defense Shogun 4000 → 3000) to negate the attack and destroy "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon". (The mention of paying Life Points is removed from the English dub.) Since his Deck Master was destroyed, Simulated Kaiba automatically loses the Duel.

Featured cards[edit]

The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.

Differences in adaptations[edit]

  • A scene is removed in the English version near the beginning of the episode. It shows Duke and Tristan both talking about Serenity in their sleep. Joey demands to know what they are dreaming about and falls on them when the blimp jolts.
  • A shot of an unconscious Mai is removed from the dub.
  • A scene removed from the dub shows Yugi wondering about how much Kaiba hates his father.
  • A short scene where the underwater fortress moves over a hill is removed from the English version.
  • In the Japanese version, the pilot's computer screen says "Destruction System — Caution — Failsafe Warning." In the English version it is simply a giant X.


  • This episode is the first time a Zero Turn Kill was shown in the anime.